Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bow or be persecuted — The ruling class shouts: “The debate is over!” “Shut the bigots up!”

Peaceable behavior will not protect you from being hounded as a “hater” 
warns Angelo M Codevilla, author of To Make and Keep Peace (2014) and The Ruling Class (2010) (thanks to Instapundit).
A whiff of “offensive” attitudes is enough for the ruling class to make you as untouchable as the lepers of old. Nor is silence a refuge. 
Just as you must honor homosexuality, so you must affirm that certain Americans are “racists” addicted to “white privilege.” Do you demur? Then, Racist that you are, you must be shunned and should be fired. Do you support governmental efforts to reverse “anthropogenic global warming”? If you demur, you are a Denier who endangers our national security, and must be treated as a kook. Should you refuse to pledge your fealty to the proposition that life and the universe are the meaningless result of chance, you reveal yourself to be a Religious Zealot, an “American Taliban,” ineligible for public and private trust. Do you have reservations about the constitutionality or beneficence of administrative government? Then you are an Extremist, a proper target for Homeland Security, the IRS, the NSA, etc. Do you refuse to celebrate “terminating a pregnancy” as women’s fundamental right? Then you are a Warrior against Women, possibly a terrorist. Do you own guns? Ipso facto, you are a Violent Extremist. 
The pretexts differ. But the reality is the same: Bow or be persecuted.
Law no longer protects you. The ruling class does not punish through laws, and seldom by official actions, nor in any manner amenable to argument. Its bites come from officials and judges, from the connected and protected, whose rule is “Stop me if you can,” and who shove reason aside with epithets such as “offensive” and “hateful.”

 … The ruling class shouts: “The debate is over!” “Shut the bigots up!” This may cow public opinion, but it destroys the capacity to lead it. 

In fact, public opinion can be led only by persuasion regarding true and false, better and worse. This is how free human beings deal with one another. No democratic case can be made for limiting substantive challenges to premises and pretensions. Lincoln, following John Quincy Adams, pointed again and again to the slaveholders’ efforts to silence debate about slavery’s moral and political effects as evidence of the slaveholders’ threat to the freedom of whites as well as of blacks. Like Adams, Lincoln pressed slavery’s hard, ugly realities upon audiences that preferred to evade them. As Lincoln brushed away the euphemisms and legal constructs in describing the slave trade’s merchandising of human beings, so should we not mince words regarding all that the ruling class demands that we honor. 
Check out my post, Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech".
The demand that we call homosexual unions “gay marriage” forces us to honor something that is far from “gay” — i.e., lighthearted, joyful — but, in the case of male homosexuals, anal intercourse, which impairs the health of the persons involved and of society. Why honor it by calling it marriage? Perhaps because it is an instance of “love between consenting adults”? But what sort of society can be based on honoring all manner of sexual relations between any and all “consenting adults”? This logic applies with precisely the same force to polygamy, and to sexual relations between parents and adult children, or between brothers and sisters, as it does to sexual relations between two non-consanguineous homosexuals. But the assertion that mothers and fathers and children are interchangeable is a lie. The Supreme Court, in Reynolds v. U.S. (1878), judged that monogamous (they did not have to say “heterosexual”) marriage is the cornerstone of a free society. Why, precisely, should we reject that judgment as ignorant and mean-spirited? Before 1961, all 50 states criminalized anal intercourse, heterosexual as well as homosexual. Why, precisely, were they wrong in doing so? By what right does anyone place such questions “out of bounds”?

 … to reclaim the American people’s freedom from arbitrary power over minds and souls as well as bodies, to expose the false premises on which the ruling class’s pretenses rest, a candidate would have to imitate Abraham Lincoln. His debates with Stephen Douglas — no notes, much less teleprompters — dealt with complex matters before audiences few of whom had gone beyond elementary school, and enabled them seriously to discuss the choices they faced. Said Lincoln: “Let the people know the facts, and the Country will be saved.”

In our time, if a candidate were to challenge his opponents to bare-knuckle, Lincoln–Douglas sessions, his example might lead fellow citizens to reject the combination of poisonous sloganeering and of dominance, submissiveness, and corruption that now passes for politics. Retaking control of our lives requires us to reason with one another and to decide for ourselves what is good and bad, better and worse, true and false. This is how it was when we were free.
FYI: I am working on a biography of Abraham Lincoln with Dan Greenberg…